Criticism: Sexuality And Cyberpunk - Essay

Claudia Springer (essay date 1994)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Sex, Memories, and Angry Women,” in Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture, edited by Mark Dery, Duke University Press, 1994, pp. 157-77.

[In the following essay, Springer explores images of sexuality and technology in cyberpunk fiction.]

One thing is certain: the riddle of mind, long a topic for philosophers, has taken on new urgency. Under pressure from the computer, the question of mind in relation to machine is becoming a central cultural preoccupation. It is becoming for us what sex was to the Victorians—threat and obsession, taboo and fascination.

—Sherry Turkle

The...

(The entire section is 7586 words.)

Donald Morton (essay date 1995)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Birth of the Cyberqueer,” in PMLA, Vol. 110, No. 3, May, 1995, pp. 369-81.

[In the following essay, Morton examines homosexuality in postmodern and cyberpunk theory.]

In today's dominant, “post-al” academy, the widely celebrated “advance” in the understanding of culture and society brought about by ludic (post)modernism has been enabled by a series of displacements: of the signified by the signifier, of use value by exchange value, of the mode of production by the mode of signification, of conceptuality by textuality, of the meaningful by the meaningless, of determination by indeterminacy, of causality by undecidability, of knowing by feeling, of...

(The entire section is 8602 words.)

Thomas Foster (essay date 1996)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “‘The Sex Appeal of the Inorganic’: Posthuman Narratives and the Construction of Desire,” in Centuries' Ends, Narrative Means, edited by Robert Newman, Stanford University Press, 1996, pp. 276-301.

[In the following essay, Foster examines the implications of disembodied sexuality in cyberpunk culture.]

You are seduced by the sex appeal of the inorganic.

—Barbara Kruger

The computer takes up where psychoanalysis leaves off.

—Sherry Turkle, The Second Self (309)

During the Post-Body...

(The entire section is 9345 words.)